For nearly 200 years, the Grand Resort Bad Ragaz has been luring well-heeled guests with its mountain vistas and thermal waters that run through its vast spa and medical centre. Cuisine, however, has rarely been high on the list. Until, that is, Andreas Caminada (who runs a much-applauded diner at the Schauenstein Schloss Restaurant Hotel a few minutes away on the train) was persuaded to lend his 3-Michelin star power to the newly opened Igniv, a cosy room with a vaulted ceiling that seats barely 30 guests.
The Milan-based Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola has taken her cues from the restaurant’s name – which means nest in Rhaeto-Romanic, one of Switzerland’s official languages – to mix brass, leather, golden hued table bases, and stone with an unusual wall paneling of wooden parquet by flooring company Listone Giordano.
In the kitchen, Caminada’s protégé and chef de cuisine Silvio Germann defies Bad Ragaz’s landlocked snowy keep with a sequence of tasting menus that are sprinkled with mackerel, langoustines and foie gras. The cooking is as assured and youthful as Germann – veal rib chops with mushrooms and sweetbreads, tangled piles of beef tartar, truffle custard, and sweet scallops are a tasty prelude to a traditional haul of Franco-German-Swiss sweets like Kaiserschmarrn and tarte tartin.